Donna Karan improves visibility with Maple Lake

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Fashion brand Donna Karan has implemented Maple Lake’s QuickAssortment software to handle its merchandise, store and assortment planning.
The software is designed to allow the retailer to create store assortments that align to the purchasing preferences of its customers in each location, as well as via its e-commerce stores.
QuickAnalytics is also being used to provide reporting and analytical capabilities.
“In the luxury market we have to be sensitive to the individual preferences of our customers and ensure that we have an assortment that inspires each time they visit our stores,” said Donna Sarian, vice president of planning and allocation at Donna Karan.
“From an inventory planning and management point of view, our challenge is to balance the needs of a multi-brand, multi-channel organisation with long design and buying cycles. 
“It’s very easy for departments to be disconnected and find we don’t have enough of the right product in the right stores. With Maple Lake we’re joining all aspects of our retail planning into a single application, so that we can be sure our products, stores and assortments all balance.”
Although the “quick win” for Donna Karan is one of efficiency as the company no longer has to spend time maintaining its web of spreadsheets, Sarian said the real value will come from greater visibility to the effects of its decisions on the bottom line. 
She added: “Understanding how deep to go on a markdown, quantifying the buys, fine tuning the targeted inventory levels to maintain just the right amount of cover – all of these things will have a positive impact to the gross margin and the ability for the company to grow efficiently.”

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